Leg 2. Arrivals from Lisbon to Cape Town. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 24 November, 2017.

MAPFRE, the Spanish-flagged team led by skipper Xabi Fernández has won Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race, a 7,000 nautical mile marathon from Lisbon, Portugal to Cape Town, South Africa.

“It’s amazing, we’re super-happy. We arrived here in one piece and in front of the others; we can’t ask for more,” skipper Xabi Fernández said moments after finishing.

Leg 2. Arrivals from Lisbon to Cape Town. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 24 November, 2017.

MAPFRE trailed Dongfeng Race Team on the long charge to the south, but last weekend, 14 days into the leg and after crossing the Doldrums, navigator Juan Vila and skipper Xabi Fernández put in a quick gybe to the southwest that Dongfeng didn’t match. It turned out to be a winning move; within hours the Spanish team had a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Leg 2. Arrivals from Lisbon to Cape Town. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 24 November, 2017.

In contrast, after leading from the first night, Dongfeng suddenly found itself in fourth place two weeks into the leg. But skipper Charles Caudrelier led his team to an inspiring fight-back. Over the final days, Dongfeng clawed its way back into a well-deserved second place.

“A good second place,” said Caudrelier. “For sure at one moment we were hoping for better, but a few days ago it was much worse and we made a fantastic comeback.

“Well done to MAPFRE, they did less mistakes than us, but we never gave up, the crew never complained, they just worked on the comeback… We have amazing speed in strong winds, we’ve worked on that a lot, and it was unbelievable, we were nearly a knot faster sometimes.”

Completing the podium is Vestas 11th Hour Racing, the winner of Leg 1. Skipper Charlie Enright’s team was always in the mix with the leaders on this leg, but couldn’t find a way to slip into the lead.

“We’re happy with a podium result against a lot of good teams,” Enright said, dockside in Cape Town. “We’re not satisfied yet with how we’re sailing the boat, so we still have a lot of work to do, but we’ll keep chipping away. We’re still trying to get faster through the water and streamline our decision-making, but it’s a long race. We have time.”

The next boat to finish should be Team Brunel, expected to cross the line in Cape Town in fourth place sometime after midnight (UTC) Friday night.

Then it will be another 24 hours or so to the trailing group of three – team AkzoNobel, Turn the Tide on Plastic, and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag are engaged in a tight battle for fifth place. Current projections have them all finishing with an hour of each just after midnight on Saturday night (UTC).

Leg 2 – Provisional Results – as at Friday 24 November (Leg 2, Day 20) at 19:45 UTC

1. MAPFRE — FINISHED — 15:10.33 UTC – 19 days, 01h:10m:33s
2. Dongfeng Race Team — FINISHED — 18:02.39 UTC – 19 days, 04h:02m:39s
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — FINISHED — 19:37.53 UTC – 19 days, 05h:37m:53s
4. Team Brunel +59.8 nautical miles to the finish
5. team AkzoNobel +382.6
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +385.4
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +387.1

Volvo Ocean Race – Current Leaderboard

1. MAPFRE — FINISHED — 14 points (after Leg 2)
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — FINISHED — 13 points (after Leg 2)
3. Dongfeng Race Team — FINISHED — 11 points (after Leg 2)
4. team AkzoNobel — RACING — 4 points (after Leg 1)
5. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — FINISHED — 3 points (after Leg 1)
6. Team Brunel – 2 points (after Leg 1)
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 1 point (after Leg 1)

Leg 2. Arrivals from Lisbon to Cape Town. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 24 November, 2017.

Macif Ocean Racing photo by by François Gabart

On stand-by since October 22, François Gabart started this Saturday, November 4 at 10:05 (French time) to the assault of the record of the round the world solo. The skipper of the MACIF trimaran left his home port of Port-la-Forêt on Friday night to head for the start of the world tour between the Créac’h lighthouse in Ouessant and the Lizard Cape. in southwest England, before setting off in a wind of 18 knots from the northwest. 

 

To break the record, held since December 25, 2016 by Thomas Coville in 49 days 3 hours 4 minutes and 28 seconds, François Gabart will have to cut the finish line before December 23 at 13:09 (French time). In addition to working tirelessly to advance his trimaran 30 meters as quickly as possible, it should benefit from a sequence of favorable weather conditions. To begin with those encountered on the first stretch to the equator, Thomas Coville had crossed last year after 5 days 17 hours 11 minutes and 52 seconds.

 

 

Spindrift Racing Maxi Trimaran (Photo © Chris Schmid / Spindrift racing )

On 6 November 2017 Spindrift racing, the France-based sailing team will be starting the standby period for its second attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy, the iconic non-stop round the world record.

Spindrift’s skipper, Yann Guichard (FRA), has carefully selected a crew of eleven sailors who bring with them a depth of sailing experience from the worlds of Figaro, Olympics and racing multihulls.  His crew include seven who formed part of the first attempt on the record, with the other five bringing multiple complementary skills to the team.

The current Jules Verne Trophy record, set by Francis Joyon and his crew last winter, stands at 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes, and Spindrift has spent much of the past two years optimising its 40-metre maxi-trimaran, Spindrift 2, in Brittany to take on this new challenge.

Joining the team are Thierry Chabagny (FRA) just returned from a Solitaire and a Fastnet in the Figaro, Ewen Le Clech (FRA), who rejoins the trimaran having worked on updating it with Pascal Bidégorry in 2010.  Britain’s Sam Goodchild joined Yann Guichard on the match-race circuit this season, having spent two years racing offshore trimarans.  Also joining is Thomas Le Breton (FRA), a former member of the French Olympic team in the Laser and then the Finn, who has recently returned from Bermuda where he was a tactician for the French challenge in the America’s Cup. Finally, completing this group are Tanguy Cariou, ex-member of the French Olympic team and crew in D35, who will be on the first part of the stand-by, and then Erwan Le Roux (part of the Spindrift 2 crew for the Transat Québec-Saint Malo) will take over from November 26, 2017, when he returns from the Transat Jacques Vabre.This five-man squad will join Yann Guichard and six crew from the 2015 attempt. These are sailors that Guichard knows well: Xavier Revil, Christophe Espagnon and François Morvan have all run Olympic campaigns together.  Antoine Carraz or Jacques Guichard have been part of the Spindrift team since its inception, and Erwan Israel is back onboard again as navigator.

Nine records in 24 years: 
Yann Guichard is in no doubt of the incredibly tough challenge that lies ahead and has appointed Jean-Yves Bernot to be the onshore weather router for this attempt.
The original record set by Commodore Explorer was for 79 days 6 hours and 16 minutes, in the intervening 24 years the record has been almost halved and after iDec Sport’s successful challenge last winter, now stands at 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes.

2017 Jules Verne Trophy Crew: 
Yann Guichard (skipper)
Erwan Israël (navigator)
Jacques Guichard (watch captain/helm/timmer)
Christophe Espagnon (watch captain / helm / bow)
Xavier Revil (watch captain /helm /trimmer)
François Morvan (helm / trimmer)
Antoine Carraz (helm / trimmer)
Thierry Chabagny (helm /bow)
Ewen Le Clech (helm / trimmer)
Sam Goodchild (helm / bow)
Thomas Le Breton (helm / trimmer)
Tanguy Cariou  (helm / trimmer) / Erwan Le Roux  (helm / trimmer)

 

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

The local heroes on Xabi Fernàndez’s MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The local heroes on Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Fernández and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.

“It was pretty clear from Joan (Vila) and Rob (Greenhalgh) that we wanted to hit the right side of the course in the first upwind looking for more breeze,” explained Fernández.

“Our intention was to start on port but Pablo (Arrarte) saw the gap himself when Brunel did a poor tack and they couldn’t accelerate so we want for the cross and we had plenty of room and once we hit the right everything went well.”

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

MAPFRE then managed to stretch out to a lead of nearly one-minute at the bottom gate, giving them a lead they would enjoy the rest of the way.

“The truth is it hasn’t been an easy race but we took a bit of a risk at the start,” Fernández said after the finish. “We saw the gap in front of Brunel and we went for it. Everything went really well.”

Watch the highlight video here

In fact, the Spanish team sailed a flawless race, in terms of strategy and execution, and were never threatened after grabbing the lead at the first mark.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

But behind them, it was a hard-fought race. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was strong on the first leg, but dropped back over the course of the race. In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team fought up the fleet to grab second place, battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Brunel who were trading places throughout the race.

“There was a lot of action! MAPFRE played their own game alone but behind them, we had a big fight for second place. It’s good, it’s good,” said skipper Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Race Team.

“We showed how we can sail well, after having not such good results in the last few days. It’s great that we managed to come back and get this result.”

“It was a very exciting first In-Port Race for us,” said Charlie Enright, the skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “They’re always really close. You know, when you’re racing these 65-foot canting keel boats around a one-mile track it gets interesting, with a lot of exchanges and big headsails and a lot of grinding. We did some good things and some bad things and got third place. All in all, not a bad way to start the campaign.”

“I had a bad start and that put us on the back foot,” said Bouwe Bekking the skipper of Team Brunel. “But we sailed the boat very nicely. All in all, we’re pretty happy with how we sailed today.”

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race.

Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag made a late gain to grab fifth over team AkzoNobel with Turn the Tide on Plastic never recovering from a poor first leg.

“It was okay. Fifth’s not great but it was okay. We were second at the top but we just made one mistake on the first run and it cost us. Basically, it was good. Amazing to be racing here in Alicante,” said David Witt, the skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.

MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante — Results

Position Team Elapsed Time Points
1 MAPFRE 54:38 7
2 Dongfeng Race Team 56:06 6
3 Vestas 11th Hour Racing 56:54 5
4 Team Brunel 57:13 4
5 Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 58:07 3
6 team AkzoNobel 58:31 2
7 Turn the Tide on Plastic 59:39 1
Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

Alicante stopover. MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race. 14 October, 2017.

On the same Newport, Rhode Island waters where the legendary Ranger cleaned up 4-0 in 1937, the last time ever that the mighty J Class raced for the America’s Cup, the first J Class World Champions are Lionheart, the owner driven Dutch-flagged modern day Ranger descendent.

Displaying solid consistency across all seven races sailed by the six boat inaugural world championship fleet, Lionheart won the world title by three clear points when they crossed the finish line second today, behind nearest rivals Hanuman.

Low risk strategies employed on a fast, fully optimised, well travelled owner driven J Class sailed by a well drilled close-knit crew which have mostly been together since 2011 prevailed. They finished no worse than third and only won one race, but they eclipsed the highly fancied Hanuman which only returned to J Class racing this season after a three year hiatus.

Lionheart Crew hard at it (Photo © George Bekris)

Lionheart Crew hard working on the win (Photo © George Bekris)

The shiny, black hulled Lionheart, JH1, was built 75 years after the original design was made as part of a family of designs by Starling Burgess and Olin Stephens for Ranger, the so called Super J which dominated in Newport. Over recent years the Palma, Mallorca based Lionheart has probably sailed at more regattas than her rivals, J Class and otherwise, in the pursuit of improvement, training and optimising religiously. “It is a special title, one for the owner who gives us so much confidence in ourselves and who gives us carte blanche in how we set the boat up and how we sail. It is great for him now that he lifts the trophy today.” Enthused Bekking who heads directly to Europe to rejoin his Team Brunel Volvo Ocean Race programme where he will compete for the eighth time pursuing his first overall win.

Hanuman, the US flagged team which is skippered and steered by Newport’s Kenny Read won three races from seven, including today’s afternoon showcase finale in front of a huge crowd, but their aggregate for second place overall is too heavily ballasted by a fifth place on Thursday which was the result of a penalty, and their sixth on Friday. Utimately that was the outcome after a sub standard start and subsequently being held to the wrong side of the course by a rival. Their penalty proved costly, just as one also did in Bermuda where they then missed out to Lionheart for the America’s Cup J Class Regatta title.

 

 

Kenny Read said: “Congratulations to Lionheart, they sailed better than us this week. We left too many points out there on the race course. We are ticked off about that. At the end of the day winners win and Lionheart did a good job.” Of their world title winning conservative philosophy Lionheart’s tactician Bekking smiled, “I said before the championship that if we could finish top three in every race we would most likely win and it has worked out. We always started clean and we could always – except in one race – could sail our own course. I think we did a nice job of letting the boat work for us and letting our excellent crew work prevail. We just keep it simple.”

“We made the boat a little heavier after Bermuda, a little too heavy, maybe but we were expecting stronger sea breezes. We were a little sticky downwind. All in all we were going just nice.” “One of the key points is that Harold the owner has come such a long way, even this season, we have made steps.” Bekking explains, “Everybody has their responsibilities, their own jobs to do and there are no rock stars, no prima donnas. We just believe in each other. That may be a little bit the Dutch style but mostly it comes from our owners, that is the way they like it.”

Lionheart also win the Terry Kohler Trophy, as the 2017 J Class season champions, a new trophy which aggregates the results of the St Barth’s Bucket, the America’s Cup J Class Regatta and this first ever J Class World Championship. “We started out five years ago, a little bit low key and the owner said ‘I want to race and I don’t want to make a fool of myself. Five years later this is the result.” Lionheart’s superyacht expert Nigel Ingram recalls, “I think the strongest thing we have is the crew, I don’t think we have changed a single crew position in the last year and a half. The boat is fast, the sail programme is good. We look after all the small details, we work very hard on making sure the bottom of the boat is good, it is vital in these big boats, we work hard at optimising the displacement and righting moment for the different conditions we sail in.”

Hanuman, winners in Saint Barth’s in the spring finish runners up here and in the season championship. Appropriately Ranger complete the World Championship podium, finishing third today to clinch third overall. They had a close match with the newer Topaz, both vying for third.

“Going into today we were fighting for third and today it was a bit sticky for us, but we have a great team and we are sailing the boat well. Murray Jones did a great job with Matty Mitchell on the bow in getting us off the start line.” Said Ranger’s skipper-helm Erle Williams.

The world championship concluded with the prize giving at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court. Hanuman skipper-helm Read praised the show and spectacle the J Class had put on in Newport, “This has been a great event, a chance for sailing to come back to the front and centre in the world again for sail handling and crew work and for majestic boats to really put on a show and I think all the teams here this week did an amazing job, every team had their day. It was so much fun and on behalf of the Hanuman team it has been an honour and privelege to be involved in it. I can’t wait to do it again.”

J Class World Championship, Newport RI
Race 7 1 Hanuman 2 Lionheart 3 Ranger 4 Topaz 5 Svea 6 Velsheda

Overall after seven races
1 Lionheart 17pts (3,3,3,1,3,2,2)
2 Hanuman 20pts (1,4,1,2,5,6,1)
3 Ranger 24pts (5,6,4,3,2,1,3)
4 Topaz 27pts (4,1,6,5,1,5,5)
5 Svea 29pts (2,5,5,4,4,3,6)
6 Velsheda 30pts (6,2,2,6,6,4,4)

Terry Kohler Trophy for the 2017 J Class season – Lionheart
Corinthian Kings Cup – Lionheart

Lionheart – J Class World Championship Winner (Photo © George Bekris)

Hanuman © George Bekris

After winning Tuesday’s 20 nautical miles opening race, Hanuman paired an initial fourth place to victory in the second of the two windward-leeward races today. They open up their leading margin at the J Class World Championship in Newport RI to three points ahead of the consistent Lionheart which has scored now three third places.

Although Hanuman lead across the finish line at the conclusion of a thrillingly tight first windward-leeward of the day, so closely were the chasing pack snapping at their heels that they dropped to fourth on corrected time. Topaz won their first race ever when they held off Velsheda by just seven seconds, while Lionheart’s margin for third over Hanuman was just two seconds.

There was not as much doubt in the second contest. After breaking clear of Velsheda which were overlapped with them at the first windward mark they gradually eked out their lead to finish one minute and 17 seconds ahead of the championship’s sole ‘original’ J Class.

The SW breeze came in on cue at between nine and 14kts, the second race starting at 1535hrs was the windier of the two. There were more than enough shifts in wind direction and pressure to keep the contests tight and even. Topaz battled back from sixth at the top mark in the first race to make a wholesale gain on the right, west side of the second upwind leg, tailgating Hanuman around the final turn, a gain orchestrated by local Newport ace Tony Rey in concert with tactician Ross McDonald.

While Hanuman carried on to the right after a conventional bear away, a nicely executed gybe set cashed in Topaz’s gain against a frustrating small error by Hanuman. But the hugely experienced Hanuman team, lead by skipper-helm Kenny Read, sailed smart and clean for their victory in the second race.

“There was a moment I think in the second race after the top mark where Jim and Kirsty Clark and myself all caught each others’ eyes and all three of us at the same time exhaled loudly at the same time, like, ‘Phew this is close!’ Such great sailboat racing.” Said Read on dock at the Newport Shipyard.

The opening upwind legs were gripping, no one side or the other paying an obvious dividend. Hanuman won out from the game of patience played between the four boats on the middle left of the first beat in the first race. But after having had to tack away to the right from a slowed, understandably cautious start at the signal boat, it was Velsheda which lead Hanuman around the first mark but then lost out to Hanuman and to Lionheart at the bottom of the run. Topaz’s comeback on the second beat was the foundation of their win, but it was the kite set which made the difference.

“The real key move was our hoist at the top mark which prevented Hanuman from gybing. To get the first win for the boat at these world championship is great for the while team and for the owner.” Peter Holmberg, helmsman of Topaz, said. Since being launched in 2015, Topaz has only raced at the Saint Barth’s Bucket regatta in the Caribbean twice, in 2016 and this year, before competing at both the Bermuda J Class events in June.

In fact Topaz lead the world championship after Race 2 but blotted their copybook when they had to take an expensive penalty on the first beat of the next race for tacking in front of Lionheart, going on to finish sixth, “One of my plans for this regatta was to avoid the stupid things, the big results. I don’t get to look much because these boats are so hard to steer I am just driving, so I did not really see what was happening until it was too late.”

Hanuman’s crew work was slick, pushing their sail handling technology to the maximum. Hanuman in particular successfully run with a furling headsail and with a dousing sock on their massive spinnakers.

Read comments: “The sock has bailed us out of a couple of tight spots. There is a fine line between the helmsman getting a little too greedy and reality. Listen it is give or take with a few metres at some marks between whether you are first or fourth. It all helps. A lot of the boats that are successful in this class have had their same crew for years and these guys do such a great job. We put them in ridiculously bad spots sometimes and they pull it off time and again. That is on the crew.”

He concludes, “This full on. Whoever would have thought that boats like these would be going like this at these speeds. You have to put a lot of trust in everybody. We have 25 crew and every person has a very specific job and if one person does not do their job this thing can fall apart in two seconds.”

In this fleet Hanuman’s three point lead is nothing, winners of the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta and the America’s Cup J Class Regatta Lionheart are poised in second and Velsheda lie third, having been second and first at the first turn of today’s races.

For Thursday, the third racing day of the first ever J Class World Championship, the forecast is for lighter airs before the breezes are set to strengthen once more for Friday and Saturday.

RESULTS

Also on the dock at the Newport Shipyard is JH2 Rainbow

The International Maxi Association (IMA)
The International Maxi Association (IMA) represents the owners of Maxi yachts from all over the world. Recognised in 2010 as the World Sailing international class of Maxi yachts, the IMA is uniquely entitled to organise official sanctioned World championships for Maxi yachts. The IMA now has 70 members from all over the world, and more than a dozen honorary members including Gianfranco Alberini, who for more than 30 years was Secretary General of the Association up until his death in June 2013. The current President of the IMA is Thomas Bscher, owner of the Wally 107 Open Season, while Secretary General is Andrew McIrvine, also Admiral of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

The IMA is registered in Geneva, has a base in Porto Cervo and an office in the UK, for rating and technical matters. With two affiliated classes (Maxi 72s, and, since 2017, the J Class) and one associated class (Wally Class), the IMA intends to “guide and structure maxi yacht racing. The IMA rule defines and categorises maxi yachts: it aims to embrace all maxi yachts and as such follows, instigates and encourages developments that are deemed to have a positive effect on the construction and racing of maxi-sized boats.” (www.internationalmaxiassociation.com)

PRINCIPAL PARTNER:

Cloudy Bay Vineyards
Cloudy Bay was established in 1985 by David Hohnen, a pioneer and visionary, who was convinced of New Zealand wines’ great potential. The winery was among the first five to be established in Marlborough, the country’s finest wine region, and is now highly regarded for the superlative quality and consistency of its wines. Thirty years later, Cloudy Bay remains New Zealand’s most recognized winery. Sauvignon blanc is the estate’s flagship grape variety. Cloudy Bay also produces a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a delicately sparkling wine, Pelorus. Cloudy Bay belongs to the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton group. For more information, log on www.cloudybay.co.nz/

PARTNERS:

North Sails Group
North Sails, the largest division of North Technology Group, is the world leader in sailmaking technology. North Sails holds the patent for 3Di, a unique composite construction process that produces high-performance sails that approach the shape holding of a rigid foil. North Sails is the sailmaker of choice on the majority of America’s Cup, Grand Prix, ocean race boats and Superyachts. North Sails offers a wide range of performance 3D and paneled sails for cruising sailors and is the world’s leading sailmaker for one-design classes with more National, World and Olympic Class victories than all other sailmakers combined.

Peters & May Global Boat Transport: 
Peters & May Global Boat Transport, part of the Peters & May Group, ships over 4,000 yachts and motorboats of all weights and dimensions annually for private individuals and manufacturers. The company has its own specialist boat loaders and surveyors, custom shipping cradles, lifting equipment and has developed close working relationships with ship owners for optimum vessel safety and security. Peters & May has provided bespoke logistics solutions by sea, road, rail and air since 1973. A preferred supplier to many manufacturers, Peters & May supports organisations, individuals and leisure clients with an added value, bespoke and reliable ISO 9001 accredited logistics and consultancy solution. With wholly owned offices in the UK, USA, France, Spain, Hong Kong, China, Italy, and Germany and partnership arrangements in Turkey, Australia, Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, South America, Belgium and Russia, the company’s reach and capabilities are truly global. Peters & May takes pride in exceeding client expectations with its attention to detail and a personal service that only an independent can deliver. For more information visit http://www.petersandmay.com/services/global-boat-transport

Zorab Insurance Services
For over 25 years the team at ZIS have provided their insurance expertise to the marine, property and corporate sectors, for some of the most discerning clients in the world. ZIS have an international reach and combining their own experience with unmatched technical knowledge, their dedication and level of service to each specialized sector is unparalleled. ZIS have a long-standing history in insurance and a unique enthusiasm for their work. ZIS are immensely proud to be a partner of the J Class Association. The Association is essential for safeguarding this iconic part of sailing history. The sight of the J Class yachts on the water is an inspiring spectacle that transcends generations. ZIS not only support the aims of the association, but share the passion for sailing and commitment to the preservation of the J Class tradition. For more information visit http://zis.co.uk/

 

#jclassworlds #jclass #jclassyachts #jk6hanuman #jh1lionheart #j5ranger #js1svea #j8topaz #jk7velsheda #hanuman #lionheart #ranger #svea #topaz #velsheda #yacht #yachts #sail #racing #sailing #sailboat #instasailing #yachtingphotography #sailingphotography #superyacht #newportri #nyyc #newportshipyard #jk6 #jh1 #J5 #js1 #j8 #jk7

Fastnet 2017 Start ( Photo © Barry James Wilson )

Sunday 6 August 2017

The Solent laid on ‘classic’ conditions for the start of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 47th Rolex Fastnet Race. In brilliant sunshine and with brisk westerly winds gusting up to 20 knots, the giant fleet tacked up the western Solent before compressing through the usual bottleneck at Hurst Narrows. A record-sized fleet of 368 boats started the race, 12 more than two years ago, confirming the Rolex Fastnet Race’s position as the world’s largest offshore yacht race.

(Photo © Barry James Wilson)

(Photo © Barry James Wilson)

 

The first start got underway at 11:00 BST for the nine multihulls and within minutes, the blue three-hulled streak that is Concise 10 had pulled out a lead, frequently heeling to an alarming degree, just one hull immersed.

 

By the time IRC One was starting at 12:20 Tony Lawson’s MOD 70, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, was already off Poole. Crewman Paul Larsen, who five years ago became the world’s fastest sailor setting a world record of 65.45 knots, reported Concise 10 was sailing under reefed mainsail and staysail. “We’re making 20 knots tacking past Poole and just dropping into the watch system. Glamour start conditions in the Solent. I can just see the next boats clearing Hurst Castle.” However Larsen warned that unless the wind freed up, there was little chance for them to break the multihull race record. By 1500 Concise 10 was already level with Portland Bill.

The multihulls were followed away from Cowes by two other ‘non-IRC’ classes – the nine doublehanded IMOCA 60s and twenty seven Class40s. Given the upwind conditions, the older, conventionally foiled IMOCA 60s were prevailing. At 1630 Paul Meilhat and Jules Verne Trophy record holder crewman Gwénolé Gahinet aboard SMA, the 2012-3 Vendee Globe (and the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race) winner as MACIF, were leading the 60s past Portland Bill. The first ‘foil-assisted’ IMOCA 60 was favourite Alex Thomson and Nicholas O’Leary on Hugo Boss in third place, taking a northerly route, close to the land.

In the Class40s present championship leader Phil Sharp on board Imerys led past St Alban’s Head, but later there was little too choose with the British boat neck and neck for the lead in this incredible fleet with the Maxime Sorel-skippered V And B, Burkhard Keese’s Stella Nova, Benoit Charon’s LMAX Normandie and race veteran Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France.

The five IRC handicap classes, chasing the race’s overall prize of the Fastnet Challenge Cup started with the smallest boats first at 1120.

This afternoon at 1600, the IRC One fleet had fanned out across the course to the southeast of St Alban’s Head. James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX was leading the charge inshore as Staffan Wincrantz’s Arcona 465 SALT 2.0 was ahead on the water to the south, just ahead of the venerable 1960s maxi Kialoa II, owned by Patrick Broughton.

 

Mid-afternoon, competitors in IRC Two were favouring the inshore route with Dutchman Frans Rodenburg’s First 40 Elke, closest to St Alban’s Head at 1620, with class favourite Gilles Fournier and Corinne Migraine’s J/133 Pintia nearby.

Marc Alperovitch’s JPK 1080, Timeline in the largest class – IRC 3 © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The IRC Three boats were following a similar tactic with the offshore tack being less popular. Having started 20 minutes earlier, they were still successfully fending off the advances of the larger, faster IRC Two fleet. The Russian JPK 10.80, Igor Rytov’s Boyatyr, was leading the pack inshore while the brilliantly-named Seafarers Ale Anticipation, the First 40.7 of former 470 Olympian Pete Newlands, was ahead on the water offshore.

The inshore-offshore spread was more evenly distributed among the smallest boats in IRC Four. Here Noel Racine’s impeccably sailed JPK 10.10 Foggy Dew was ahead inshore while Dan Rigden’s Elan 37 Tacktic was furthest down the track out to sea.

The last to start were the largest in the IRC fleet, IRC Zero, including the line honours contenders George David’s Rambler 88 and Ludde Ingvall’s 100ft CQS. By 1520 Rambler 88 was off and close into St Alban’s Head, leading IRC Zero on the water just ahead of the biggest boat in the fleet, the 115ft Nikata.

Rambler 88 (Photo © Barry James Wilson)

Rambler 88 (Photo © Barry James Wilson)

Rambler 88 (Photo © Barry James Wilson)

Rambler 88 (Photo © Barry James Wilson)

Among the seven one design VO65s competing in ‘Leg 0’ of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, it was very close, with the Charles Caudrelier-skippered Dongfeng Race Team a nose ahead and making 12.3 knots but facing a threat from Team Brunel, skippered again by Dutch race veteran Bouwe Bekking, making 12.5 as the boats passed St Alban’s Head.

This morning Xabi Fernández, skipper of MAPFRE, looked forward to the race: “Once out of the Solent it will be upwind sailing up to the Fastnet rock, and finally we will sail downwind towards Plymouth. This is the first time I’ve competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race. It is a historic race, much like the Rolex Sydney Hobart.”

Joan Vila, MAPFRE’s legendary navigator confirmed the forecast: “Once we leave the Solent, the wind will blow at around 20 knots. From there, it will drop until tomorrow morning, with the probability of encountering areas of very light wind. As we get closer to Plymouth, the wind will build again.”

Bequia - Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia – Candy Store Cup 2017 Overall and Class B winner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

 NEWPORT, R.I. (July 31, 2017) – Sailors couldn’t have asked for a sweeter experience at the 2017 Candy Store Cup Superyacht Edition. The event showcased some of the world’s most spectacular and technologically sophisticated luxury sailing yachts racing off Newport, R.I. on Thursday through Saturday (July 27-29) and provided three days of wildly varied conditions, courtesy of Mother Nature, as well as a full slate of colorful social events, courtesy of co-hosts Bannister’s Wharf and Newport Shipyard, the latter of which was headquarters for the event and home to most of the fleet while not racing.
 

 

At Saturday night’s prize giving at a Newport estate on Ocean Drive, the 92-foot yawl Bequia was declared overall winner and awarded the silver Candy Store Cup Trophy in addition to its Class B victory prize of a glass vase filled with penny candy. Until then, no one was quite sure who would take the overall honors, due to the close racing that had taken place over three races, held one-per-day and covering from 12 to 26 miles each.

 

 

Thursday, in a 23.7-mile race that started off Castle Hill and featured Brenton Point and the Cliff Walk as scenic backdrops, the enormous superyachts struck imposing silhouettes against an overcast sky that every so often allowed the sun to peek through. The mid-range southwesterly winds allowed Bequia to set the pace with a 58-second win over Freya at the finish line, which was set just off Fort Adams as a “first” for the regatta, which debuted last year as a combination of two individual regattas previously known as Newport Bucket Regatta and Candy Store Cup.

 

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

Freya (Photo © George Bekris)

When the wind switched to an ever-so-light northerly on Friday, Freya returned the favor by beating Bequia by a mere 43 seconds at the traditional finish line off Castle Hill. With the two boats now tied, it meant that Class B’s winner would be determined with Saturday’s final race. This was the case, also, in Class A, where Action and Sunleigh had three and four overall points, respectively, and Class C, where MeteorWhitehawk and Naema were tied with four points each.

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

Sunleigh (Photo © George Bekris)

 

On Saturday, a dogs-off-chains nor’easter demanded that the Candy Store Cup winners be especially deserving…and they were. Bequia handled the 25 knots like it was 15 and won the race after Freya was forced to retire with a split mainsail.

 

 

“We had a wonderful week sailing against Freya,” said Bequia‘s tactician Tom Whidden at the awards party. “We’re quite different boats, but obviously the handicap rule is doing a good job, and we had some really close racing. We felt badly they had a breakdown on the last day; we were looking forward to seeing how we’d do, and I think we would have been very close.”

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Ranger (Photo © George Bekris)

Bequia‘s overall victory was contingent first on class victory, next by lowest point score among class victors (Action and Bequia both had four points each), and then by traditional sailing tiebreaker rules, but when the latter failed to clarify the winner, the race committee deferred to the regatta provision of “starting prowess” as the final determinant. That trait, it turns out, the extraordinarily well-sailed Bequia possessed in spades.

Meteor (Photo © George Bekris)

“How spectacular to have a medium-air, a light-air and a heavy-air race,” said Whidden, noting that despite the whipped-up seas on Saturday, the course allowed them to sail in relatively flat water. “They couldn’t have planned it better.”

Dan Meyers, the Newport/Boston resident who won Class C, skippering his 170′ schooner Meteor to finish positions of 1-3-1, agreed: “The first day was a perfectly moderate day, so nobody could complain. Friday, much to our detriment, it was light and a struggle for us but kind of fun to try to keep Meteor going on the track. And Saturday was full-on. A kite up in 30 knots keeps your attention, but it was fun. We had it all!
Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

Wild Horses (Photo © George Bekris )

“This is different than any other superyacht regatta in the world,” added Meyers. “It’s run by a team of people who know how this is supposed to go; the courses were really well conceived, the classes were really well conceived…They made everything better: the social events are better, the racing is better, the new Thursday-through-Saturday format is better. It’s more fun…more friendly, but they don’t sacrifice on the sailing.”

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

NAEMA G Schooner (Photo © George Bekris)

 

Ian Walker, tactician aboard Class A winner Action, a 121′ sloop, said that for a boat that was built for cruising, Action was raced pretty hard. Action had to beat Sunleigh on Saturday to win, but Sunleigh chose not to sail in the conditions. Ranger had a problem with its mast track and had to retire, leaving Action as the default winner.

“I’ve really enjoyed this regatta,” said Walker. “I love that the boats are so close together on the docks here; it’s well supported by sponsors; there is lots of hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere; and obviously Newport is a beautiful place to be this time of year. You couldn’t wish for a better superyacht regatta, and in a way the fact that the Candy Store Cup is smaller and more intimate is its unique selling point.”

Shore-side parties included an owner’s dinner at the famous Clarke Cooke House on Bannister’s Wharf; a “yacht hop” on Friday at the Shipyard where hundreds of sailors milled around the M. GEMI pop-up store selling Italian leather shoes and sharing gelato in addition to a food truck that provided a hearty dinner for the hungry sailors.

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

Candy Store Cup headquarters ( Photo © Robert W. Kranz )

 

 

Saturday’s prize giving hosted 400 people who got their last thrills of the regatta dancing to an Eagles cover band that could have easily been mistaken for the real thing.

Royal Huisman, Perini Navi, Vitters and Rybovich, which are major players in the superyacht industry and were all stewards of the Newport Bucket, are presenting partners of the Candy Store Cup. Supporting partners of the event are KVH Industries, North Sails, Sentient Jet, Southern Spars / Future Fibres, Willis Towers Watson, The Marshall Islands Registry, and M. Gemi.

Candy Store Cup Newport Results  
July 27-29, 2017

Class A Winner - Action at start crossing the start line Thursday's race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A Winner – Action at start line Thursday’s race. ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class A
1. ACTION, 121′ (37m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Sloop, 1-2-1, 4
2. SUNLEIGH, 105′ (32m) Jongert/Tony Castro Sloop, 3-1-4/DNS, 8
3. RANGER, 138′ (42m) Danish Yachts/S&S Dykstra Sloop, 2-3-4/RET, 9
Class B Winner - Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B Winner – Bequia at race start on Thursday ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class B
1. BEQUIA, 92′ (28m) Brooklin Boat Yard/Stephens Yawl, 1-2-1, 4
2. FREYA, 88′ (27m) Nautor’s Swan/Frers Sloop, 2-1-5/RET, 8
3. WILD HORSES, 75′ (23m) W-Class Yachts/White, 3-3-2, 8
4. AUDREY II, 89′ (27m) Jongert Ketch, 4-4-5/RET, 13
Class C Winner - Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C Winner – Meteor at the Breakers ( Photo © George Bekris )

Class C
1. METEOR, 170′ (52m) Royal Huisman/Dykstra Schooner, 1-3-1, 5
2. WHITEHAWK, 104′ (32m) Lie-Nielsen/Bruce King Ketch, 2-2-2, 6
3. NAEMA, 118′ (42m) Graafship/Hodgdon Yachts G Schooner, 3-1-4, 8
4. ZENJI, 184′ (56m) Perini Navi/Ron Holland 4-4-3, 11

More George Bekris Candy Store Cup Photos

More photos will be added to the gallery in coming week.

Follow Candy Store Cup on Facebook and Instagram.

#cancystorecup #cupracing #bucket #clarkecookehouse #bannisterswharf #newportshipyard #newportri #amazing #yachtinglife #lilrhody #RI #newport #CSC #freya #meteor #whitehawk #naema #zenji #bequia #wildhorses #audreyii #sunleigh #ranger #action

 

 

George Bekris Photography